Crown automates jobs via wireless

Forklift manufacturer Crown Equipment has won a five-fold increase in service productivity by implementing a mobile wireless system.

The success of the new system, which has been operational in Sydney for the last 12 months, has led Crown to move ahead with a national rollout to 280 service technicians later this year.

The wireless system, Serviceware from Intentia, integrates directly with the existing intelligent dispatch system. All service details as well as previous call history are sent directly to a pocket PC via GPRS.

Wayne Greenaway, Crown Equipment IT general manager, said Intentia was chosen because Crown has existing IBM iSeries hardware and successful integration was critical to the project.

"We have also increased communication-room visibility on job status such as travelling and work completed, and the integration with our warehouse management system has allowed us to reduce the time taken to replenish used parts in service vans and respond quickly to ad hoc requests from the field," Greenaway said.

"The initial field trial and subsequent branch rollout has been very successful. We can automate call allocations, enable remote collaboration with field service technicians and eradicate process bottlenecks. This has reduced potential job delays and call handling pressures in the branch office, and ultimately increases customer response time.

"Previously it used to take up to five days to manually process a job from start to finish, now jobs are turned around in less than a day."

Greenaway said when service technicians complete a service call, they send an inspection report using the Serviceware application on a pocket PC. The customer signs their OK on the handheld device and job details are sent automatically to the Crown back-office.

"This totally eliminates all paperwork and processing the reports can happen within minutes of the service technician completing the job in the field," he said.

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